Fire is one of the most valuable tools you can have in a survival situation. It can prevent cold injuries, cook your food and make water safe to drink, it offers protection from animals (some that might look at you as their next meal), as well as offering a psycological edge and comfort in what can be a very stressful situation.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Empty Bic type lighter
- Duct tape
- Small flat blade screw driver
- Needle nose pliers or Multi tool
- Thin kerf saw (I used a hack saw blade and holder)
- Cotton balls
- Zippo lighter fluid
- Small stick
- Mixing container
Step 2: Making the Tinder
Start by getting a good ammount of vasiline on the mixing stick and putting it in the container you have for mixing. Next add a few drops of Zippo lighter fluid. The Zippo fluid thins the vasilne just a hair and makes it easier to saturate the cotton balls. You don't want to add more then a few drops of Zippo fluid to the mix. Drop cotton balls into the mixing conatiner one at a time and using the stick mash the cotton ball into the vasiline mixture until it is well coated. Repeat this step until you have four (4) cotton balls that have been covered in the mixture. Place the cotton balls into a zip lock bag and set aside for now.
Step 3: Preparing the Bic
First make sure the lighter you are using is TOTALLY EMPTY! Then using the small screw driver, carefully remove the metal band that goes around the top of the lighter.
Once the metal band is removed, using either the needle nose pliers or Multi-tool carefully bend the small safety band away from the striker wheel. Using a gentle back and forth motion, remove the safety band from the lighter.
Next, use the pliers (or Multi-tool) to remove the red gas release button and the small metal valve on the oppisite side.
Be careful that you do not bend the plastic "ears" that hold the striker wheel.
Step 4: Cutting the Lighter
Once you have removed all the tiny bits in the previous step it is time to cut the lighter in two.
Once again MAKE SURE THE LIGHTER IS TOTALLY EMPTY! If it isn't completely empty it can not only blow butane in your face there is a chance it will fly across the room.
Step 5: Conclusion
Now that your old Bic is in two sections you'll notice that there is a thin plastic divider that runs through the center of the lighter. Take the tinder you made out of the zip-lock and stretching and twisting the tinder place two peices in each side.
Next take the bottom portion of the Bic and line it up with the top part. Using a peice of duct tape 6-8" long wrap the duct tape around the Bic to hold the two peices together.
Now toss the DIY fire starter in your survival pouch and hope you never need to use it!
While there are many good fire starters on the market today the DIY fire starter in this instructable is easy to make, costing just pennies and works just as well as its more expensive brothers.
As always I look forward to reading your comments!
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